Center for Learning Experimentation, Application, and Research

MIDI Playback Visualization

Areas Assisted:

  • Hard of Hearing

Possible Applications:

  • Theory/Analysis/Pedagogy

Using different forms of visual software, scores can be reinterpreted into a video visualization of the music. Such visualization videos can be synchronized to the audio in order to represent the real time musical events via visual cues. Things like density, notation, rhythms, and so forth can be the focal point of a video visual representation, and this option might be useful depending on the intention of the lesson. When paired with the original score, this may prove to be a comprehensive accessible option for understanding the score and recording.

MIDI Visualization with MIDITrail

Many different options MIDI realization may be the best option for this method, as there are currently existing software to create useful music visualizations. MIDITrail is a MIDI file player which also provides 3D visualization of MIDI data. Multiple tracks/instruments can be color coded, and the view can be altered to different perspectives to view the lines as they move in relation to the music. The recording playback can be controlled by the viewer as well. Adding a copy of the score for the student to view in combination with the MIDITrail file can help further augment the experience.

MIDITrail interface with multiple keyboards and colored lines representing the individual instruments crossing the appropriate pitches on the keyboards.

MIDITrail interface with single keyboard and multiple colored lines representing individual instruments crossing at the respective pitches

Considerations for MIDITrail or similar Score Videos

  • Some navigation and usage may take learning on part of the instructors and students, but you can also search for previously created videos online that you can link out to. Be aware that previously created videos will not have the same interactivity regarding changing view or perspective
  • As always, be sure to review any MIDI files or prerecorded Score Videos for accuracy before suggesting them to your students.
  • This is a great way to present an impression of musical events as they occur in the real time experience of a piece that is also accessible to the hard of hearing in terms of distinct pitch identifiers.